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Medical News & Perspectives
October 3, 2017

Work Progresses on Male Contraceptives, but Hurdles Remain

JAMA. 2017;318(13):1208-1210. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.10302

The first female contraceptive pill came on the market more than a half-century ago, but don’t expect to see sales of a male counterpart any time soon. For now, birth control options under men’s control remain limited to withdrawal or condoms, both of which have relatively high failure rates due to imperfect use, or vasectomy—highly effective but considered irreversible.

It’s easy to assume that the dearth of male contraceptives stems from men's long-time dominance in research laboratories and pharmaceutical company boardrooms. After all, the men in positions of power probably preferred to leave the responsibility for birth control up to women, who had more at stake with an unwanted pregnancy.

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